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Cannabis Eases Chronic Pain Better Than Prescribed Opioids, Study Suggests

Posted on27. Feb, 2015 by .

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Cannabis can ease chronic pain more effectively than conventional medicines, according to a new study likely to flame the debate on the medical use of marijuana.

Researchers from the Australian National Drug and Alcohol centre found that patients with chronic pain who used the drug said it eased their symptoms better opioid medications, which are highly addictive and can cause accidental overdoses.

The study analysed 1,500 patients, aged in their late 40s and early 50s, who suffered from conditions including back pain, migraines and arthritis, and were being prescribed with heavy-duty opioid medications, such as morphine and oxycodone.

Professor Louisa Degenhardt, from the National Drug and Alcohol Centre and the University of Melbourne led the study. Her team discovered that nearly 13 per cent of the patients had used the illegal drug in the past year on top of their prescribed medication.

In comparison, only 4.7 per cent of the rest of the population used cannabis, she wrote in the journal ‘Drug and Alcohol Dependence’.

“One in three said they found it very effective to relieve their pain, that’s a score of ten out of ten,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald. “Now these are all subjective scores, but it means there is definitely a group of people who think that taking it was very beneficial.”

Degenhart added that the study raised vital questions over whether cannabis should be more seriously explored as source of pain relief, as well as the negative effects of drugs, such as patient dependence.

Dr Nicholas Lintzeris, the co-author of the study and an associate professor of addiction medicine at the University of Sydney, said a huge number of Australians were seeking help for addiction to pain medications, as doctors are left with little choice but to prescribe strong painkillers. This was caused by a lack of access to treatments such as massage, he said.

The findings come after a father who was arrested for allegedly giving his two-year-old daughter cannabis oil sparked a debate on the drug’s use in medicine this month.

News Moderator: Jacob Redmond 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Cannabis eases chronic pain better than commonly prescribed opioids, study suggests – Health News – Health & Families – The Independent
Author: Kashmira Gandar
Contact: newseditor@independent.co.uk
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Website: The Independent | News | UK and Worldwide News | Newspaper

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Poll: No Buyer’s Remorse In Colorado

Posted on25. Feb, 2015 by .

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Nearly six out of ten Coloradans say that they support keeping retail marijuana production and sales legal, according to statewide polling data released by Quinnipiac University.

The figure is a five percent increase in support since voters approved the law in November 2012. A September 2014 statewide NBC News/Marist College poll previously reported that 55 percent of Coloradoans favored the law.

Men and younger voters were most likely to support legalization. Voters ages 18 to 34 overwhelmingly favored state law (86 percent to 16 percent) while 50 percent of those ages 55 and older opposed it.

Male voters supported the legalization by a margin of 63 percent to 33 percent, while women only favored the law by a margin of 53 percent to 44 percent.

The gender and age differences in support are not surprising. A just-published study in the February issue of the journal Drug Abuse and Alcohol Dependence reports that women are twice as likely as men to perceive significant risks associated with the use of cannabis. The study reported that those least likely to perceive significant harms associated with cannabis are those between the ages of 18 to 25, those who have completed high-school and/or college, and those with annual household incomes exceeding $ 75,000.

According to newly released figures by the Colorado Department of Revenue, retail sales of marijuana totaled just under $ 700 million in Colorado in 2014 – the first full year during which sales of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes were allowed.

NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform

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Congressional Legislation Introduced to Get the Federal Government Out of the Marijuana Enforcement Business

Posted on24. Feb, 2015 by .

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Get the Federal Government Out of the Marijuana Enforcement BusinessLegislation was introduced Friday in the US House of Representatives to permit states to establish their own marijuana regulatory policies free from federal interference.

House Resolution 1013, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, removes cannabis from the United States Controlled Substances Act. It also removes enforcement power from the US Drug Enforcement Administration in matters concerning marijuana possession, production, and sales — thus permitting state governments to regulate these activities as they see fit.

Said the bill’s primary sponsor, Democrat Jared Polis of Colorado: “Over the past year, Colorado has demonstrated that regulating marijuana like alcohol takes money away from criminals and cartels, grows our economy, and keeps marijuana out of the hands of children. While President Obama and the Justice Department have allowed the will of voters in states like Colorado and 22 other jurisdictions to move forward, small business owners, medical  marijuana patients, and others who follow state laws still live with the fear that a new administration – or this one—could reverse course and turn them into criminals. It is time for us to replace the failed prohibition with a regulatory system that works and let states and municipalities decide for themselves if they want, or don’t want, to have legal marijuana within their borders.”

Separate legislation, House Resolution 1014: the Marijuana Tax Revenue Act, introduced by Democrat Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, seeks to impose a federal excise tax on the retail sale of marijuana for non-medical purposes as well as apply an occupational tax for state-licensed marijuana businesses. Such commercial taxes would only be applicable if and when Congress has moved to defederalize marijuana prohibition.

“It’s time for the federal government to chart a new path forward for marijuana.” said Rep. Blumenauer. “Together these bills create a federal framework to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, much like we treat alcohol and tobacco. The federal prohibition of marijuana has been a failure, wasting tax dollars and ruining countless lives. As more states move to legalize marijuana as Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Alaska have done, it’s imperative the federal government become a full partner in building a workable and safe framework.”

Similar versions of these measures were introduced in the previous Congress but failed to gain federal hearings.

To contact your US House member and urge him/her to support House Resolution 1013, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act and/or other pending federal marijuana law reform legislation, please visit NORML’s Take Action page here.

NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform

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Want to Make a Difference? Get to DC in May.

Posted on22. Feb, 2015 by .

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NORML Legislative Fly-InNORML will be holding its 2015 Legislative Fly-In in Washington, DC, on May 21 and 22, to lobby Congress on a number of pieces of pending legislation of interest to marijuana users. Please hold those dates and make plans now to join us this year. Registration for the Fly-In, along with the agenda for the two-days, is now available on the NORML website.

An empowering experience

For those who may not have previously taken the time to actually lobby your state or federal elected officials, I think you will find it an exhilarating and empowering experience.

To finish this column, please go to Marijuana.com.

 

NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform

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